Finnish Minerals Group and Beijing Easpring Material Technology have been investigating and negotiating the possibility to establish a CAM plant in Kotka, Finland with the initial capacity of 50,000 t/a and potential for future expansion for the production of cathode active material for lithium-ion batteries. Finnish Minerals Group says in a recent company statement, that as part of the work, the companies have carried out the definitive feasibility study (DFS) and agreed to continue the cooperation on the plant project.
Founded in 2001, Beijing Easpring is a developer, manufacturer, and supplier of lithium-ion battery cathode materials. The company was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2010. It currently has production facilities in Changzhou Jintan and Haimen in Jiangsu province.
In preparation for the plant investment, Finnish Minerals Group and Beijing Easpring are looking to set up a joint venture company for the construction and operation of the plant. Finnish Minerals Group is aiming at becoming a minority owner in the joint venture company.
“The rapidly growing production of lithium-ion batteries in Europe requires the establishment of a cathode active material industry in Europe. Based on the studies we have carried out together, the production facility planned to be established in Kotka is well set to succeed in the European market both in the short and long term. The plant is also an opportunity for Finland to further develop its high technology expertise and create new economic activity in the Kymenlaakso region and beyond. For our company, it is great to partner up with Beijing Easpring, one of the world’s leading producers of cathode active materials for lithium-ion batteries,” says Matti Hietanen, CEO of Finnish Minerals Group.
“Our cathode active material plant in Kotka is a key step for Easpring to carry out global layout. In the future, Easpring will continue to evaluate the feasibility of capacity expansion with the Kotka project, and production establishment possibility in other important regions globally as well,” says Yunlong Guan, Deputy General Manager in charge of marketing and sales at Beijing Easpring.
“The battery material plant that is planned to be established in Kotka now has an international partner, and we see that the project is proceeding well in line with our goals. Kotka provides a competitive operating environment for this sustainable development project, and we are fully committed to supporting the work. We also warmly welcome the plant to our city and Finland, and we wish everyone involved in the project success with the next steps,” says Esa Sirviö, Mayor of the City of Kotka.
One of the companies’ next steps is to draw up an environmental permit application for the plant, which they intend to submit in early 2022. In addition, preparatory work in Keltakallio industrial site will soon be started for the establishment of a project office and the earthworks related to the plant.
“Several engineering consultancies and design agencies have participated in the DFS work on the facility, and we are all very happy that the project has progressed as planned. Our goal is to initiate the commissioning and start-up of production in 2024 at the latest. Overall, the initial capacity of the plant will be 50,000 tonnes a year,” says Vesa Koivisto, SVP, Battery Operations at Finnish Minerals Group.
Once operational, the plant will generate approximately 250 person-years of direct employment. The first regional economic effects, however, include the direct impact of construction and the multiplier effects of production and consumption, which will be reflected in several sectors.